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New UK work permit: the Skilled Worker route


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The Skilled Worker route is the new UK work permit which will replace the existing Tier 2 (General) route from 1st December 2020.

The Skilled Worker route is the new UK work permit which will replace the existing Tier 2 (General) route from 1st December 2020. Employers will be able to recruit migrant workers for a specific job in an eligible skilled occupation. It is important to note that this will also apply to EEA nationals who arrived in the UK after 31st December 2020.

Skilled workers can bring their family members (partner and children under 18 years old) to the UK and can apply to settle (indefinite leave to remain) in the UK after 5 years of continuous lawful residence under this visa category.

However, the employer will need a valid skilled worker sponsor licence to employ skilled workers. If you are an employer who already holds a Tier 2 (General) sponsor licence, you do not need to apply for a new licence. The Home Office has confirmed that your existing licence, along with your Certificate of Sponsorship (CoS) allocation, will be converted into a Skilled Worker sponsor licence with the same expiry date as your current Tier 2 (General) licence.

The skilled worker needs to score 70 points where 50 points are mandatory as per the table below:

Eligibility Points
Sponsorship with valid CoS 20
Job at appropriate skill level 20
English language at B1 10
Salary: tradeable 20 points according to the level of the salary, PhD qualification or whether the job is in shortage occupation Tradeable 20 points
Total 70



Individuals in the UK on another immigration route can ‘switch’ to the Skilled Worker route if they meet all the relevant immigration requirements and were not last granted permission on any of the following routes:

  • Visitor
  • Short-term student
  • Parent of a Child Student
  • Seasonal Worker
  • Domestic Worker in a Private Household
  • Outside the Immigration Rules

This provides more flexibility for UK visa holders who, in most case, will not need to leave the UK and apply from their home country.


Financial requirement

Moreover, if the worker is applying for entry clearance from outside the UK or has been in the UK for less than one year at the date of application, they must show they have enough funds to support themselves and any family members in the UK.

They will need to evidence that they have at least £1,270 on their bank account at the date of the application submission or their employer can certify maintenance on their CoS. By certifiying the maintenance, the employer confirms that it will, if necessary, maintain and accommodate the individual, at least £1,270, up to the end of their first month of employment in the UK.


Should you wish to discuss this new Skilled Worker visa in more detail, please contact our expert team of London immigration lawyers at Barar and Associates at or call us on 020 7487 8370. You can access more information about us via


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